When you look at nature and the environment, why is it so important to save an area of wetland? Why is it important to save a type of wildlife? The reason is balance. An ecosystem is a delicately balanced environment. If you are missing an animal, then other elements of the ecosystem suffer as well. When there are gaps in the ecosystem, in short, it stops working.
This concept applies to business as well. Why has Apple been successful? Is it because the build top-notch quality products? In part yes, but not entirely. Is it because they deliver products that met the users’ needs better than any other product? In part yes, but not entirely. No, the real reason that Apple has been so successful is that their products and services are part of an ecosystem that they’ve developed. Tied together beautifully, that ecosystem just works. It is that element, that it just works, that really has been the reason Apple has been so successful. It’s also the reason why other competing companies have failed to develop any type of Apple-product-killer. As a competing company you can’t build a product that will kill anything! You might build a product that is better than any single competing product from Apple, but without the ecosystem to tie it all together, to balance everything, to make sure that it all just works – without the balance, competitive products are fighting an uphill battle.